TIOGA, N.D. — North Dakota's Health Department has confirmed that diesel fuel and antifreeze were introduced to water lines serving an apartment complex in Tioga.
The conclusion came after three rounds of water sampling, the last of which was conducted on April 30. Officials earlier last month determined that the general water supply in the northwestern North Dakota city of 1,200 people had not been contaminated.
Officials speculate that a contractor put the diesel fuel and antifreeze in the lines to thaw frozen water pipes in early April. The 20 residents of the apartment complex have been staying at hotels or with friends during the investigation, which is ongoing. Tioga Medical Center officials said after the scare that they tested a few people for possible poisoning but did not admit anyone to the facility.
"At this point, the water to the complex remains shut off and to my knowledge there are no residents in the complex," said Wayne Kern, the Health Department's director of the municipal facilities.
The city can continue flushing the system until testing confirms that the contaminants have been removed, or it can force the owners of the apartment complex to replace the affected pipes, according to Kern.
"We just got the test results in and now we're trying to figure out what to do," City Water Director Jeff Moberg said.